Posts for tag: acne
Acne is a common concern for many people and treatment can be frustrating. We have many patients who have tried almost everything for their acne without improvement. We now have a new treatment called the Forever Clear Acne Treatment which uses laser light to address acne.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by stress and there are various types of stress including effects from lifestyle, hormones, and topical products. The pores get clogged, which leads to inflammation, growth of bacterial, and sometimes painful cysts. If treated inappropriately acne can also leave scars on the skin.
What are treatments for acne?
There are a number of treatment options for acne. First it is important to keep the skin clean at all times, especially after exercise. It is also important to decrease any stress in the body through lifestyle choices. Topical products include a variety of exfoliants, antibiotics, and retinoid products. Oral medications include antibiotics and Accutane, which has many side effects and is reserved for resistant or severe cases. Treatment options include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and a variety of laser treatments. Many of these treatments have a side effect profile that makes them undesirable. Now with the Forever Clear Acne Treatment we are able to treat acne without side effects and without recovery time.
What is the Forever Clear Acne Treatment?
The Forever Clear Acne Treatment is a new treatment that uses the power of light from a laser to treat acne without topical creams or oral medications with side effects. Using the Sciton BBL Dr. Alex will use special settings to target acne-causing bacteria, decrease inflammation, and allow for faster healing of the skin.
How does the Forever Clear Acne Treatment work?
The Forever Clear Acne Treatment consists of three steps. Prior to the treatment we take baseline photographs to monitor your progress and apply a topical numbing cream for about 15 minutes. Then the face is cleansed and cold gel is applied to the skin to conduct the light. Eye protection will be applied to protect your eyes; you will see bright light during the treatment. This is normal; just keep your eyes closed.
- The first step uses blue light to target the acne-causing bacteria in the skin.
- The second step uses yellow or red light to decrease the inflammation in the skin.
- The third step uses gentle micro-pulses of infrared light to stimulate the natural healing process in the skin.
How long does a Forever Clear Acne Treatment take?
The Forever Clear Acne Treatment itself takes about 10 minutes. Plan to be in the office for 45 to 60 minutes to numb the skin, take photographs, and complete paperwork.
What is the recovery after a Forever Clear Acne Treatment?
The great thing about the Forever Clear Acne Treatment is that there is no recovery time. Most people resume their normal activities right away.
Does the Forever Clear Acne Treatment hurt?
At A E Skin we apply topical numbing cream before the treatment and use cold air during the treatment to maximize your comfort. Most people tolerate the treatment very well.
How many Forever Clear Acne Treatments will I need?
Dr. Alex recommends an initial series of six to eight Forever Clear Acne Treatments every one to two weeks. After that, one maintenance treatment is done every six to twelve weeks.
Are the results of the Forever Clear Acne Treatment permanent?
Acne is a condition we control, not cure. So maintenance treatments are required. After an initial series of treatments, most people have one maintenance treatment every six to twelve weeks.
Acne is a common condition in people of all ages. Not only are acne breakouts concerning for people, but so is what is left on the skin after a breakout such as irregular texture and color.
What is the difference between an acne scar and a discoloration?
While both irregular texture and color after acne breakouts are commonly referred to as acne scars, true acne scars are only the textural irregularities in the skin. These are the indentations (atrophic scars) that can be felt on the skin when passing a finger over it. Dark spots left over are called PIH, which stands for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is important to distinguish between acne scars and PIH because they are treated differently.
How do acne scars form?
Acne scars commonly form after acne breakouts. Usually this happens when the pimples are picked at or popped. Proper extraction can remove the pus from the skin, calm down the skin, and make the breakouts go away faster. However, if the pimple (comedone) is popped inside the skin, the pus is not able to come out and it is released into the skin. The skin detects this as an insult and a reaction is formed to address it. This leads to the breakdown of collagen, the protein that keeps the skin firm and tight. This results in the indentations we see called acne, or atrophic, scars.
How does PIH form?
PIH stands for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is when the skin gets darker. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, therefore, is when the skin gets darker after inflammation. And inflammation can occur for various reasons such as sun exposure (which leads to tans), cuts, burns, acne, laser treatments, etc. People with darker skin have more natural pigment and are at an increased risk of developing PIH.
How do you treat acne scars?
Acne scars are best treated with fractional lasers such as the Fractional CO2 laser or the Pro Fractional Therapy. These laser treatments form tiny holes in the skin. This leads to microscopic levels of inflammation in the skin, causing the skin to form new, fresh, and healthy collagen. So the damaged collagen that is in the scars is replaced with normal collagen, which provides a smooth appearance on the skin surface. The areas around the holes are left untreated; this allows for faster recovery times. Often times a series of three to six treatments are required. Treatments can be done every four to eight weeks. It is important to understand that collagen does not form overnight, it forms slowly. So results are not seem immediately and patience is important. It could take up to a year or sometimes more to see full results.
How do you treat PIH?
PIH is best treated by preventing it in the first place. The risk of PIH can be minimized by using a good skin care regimen such as the A E Skin products. The A E Skin Brightening Cream contains hydroquinone and kojic acid, which brighten the skin and prevent PIH. It also contains retin-A which stimulates cell turnover, keeping the surface fresh. The A E Skin Exfoliating Serum removes the dead skin cells from the surface, which allows for any pigment to be exfoliated. The A E Skin Triple Antioxidant Serum contains vitamins C and E to prevent discolorations, provide a glow, and stimulate collagen. The A E Skin Hydrating Serum contains hyaluronic acid which draws water into the skin to counteract dryness that can occur from the other products. It is important to recognize those at risk for PIH and pre-treat such people’s skin with these products for one to two months prior to a treatment. Those with darker skin types are at a higher risk for PIH. PIH can be further treated with chemical peels and laser treatments such as the Forever Young BBL IPL photofacial.
Do you suffer from acne scars and PIH? Contact us for a free consultation with Dr. Alex in our Encino, CA or Beverly Hills, CA offices. Dr. Alex has performed over ten thousand cosmetic treatments with many satisfied patients.
Acne is a very common condition around the world and it can be very frustrating to deal with. Acne presents many challenges as there are different causes and different treatments. Also it could take a long time to get acne under control and some people suffer from acne for many years.
Causes of Acne
There are many different causes of acne. All of these have to do with some sort of stress. There are many forms of stress that can occur on the skin which lead to acne. Common ones include things like products that are applied to the skin, not keeping the skin clean, and changes in the weather. Certain products are called comedogenic, which means they can lead to comedones, or acne pimples. For some people sweating while exercising can clog pores and lead to acne. Changes in weather include changes in temperature and humidity that may occur when seasons change or when you travel. Stress can also be emotional such as from work, school, or personal relationships. Stress on the body can also be caused by lack of sleep, poor diet, or lack of exercise. Hormones in the body can also cause stress. These is seen commonly in teenage boys who begin to produce more testosterone during puberty. It can also be seen in women who get breakouts during, prior, or after their menstrual cycles regularly. All of these types of stress can cause changes in the skin which can clog pores and lead to blackheads, whiteheads, or other breakouts. Sometimes they are close to the skin surface and at other times deep cysts can form. Many times the pus in the pimples leads to bacterial growth in the area, which can lead to redness and inflammation.
Treatments for Acne
Since there are so many possible causes of acne, there are many ways to treat it. The most important thing is to determine the underlying stress and address that. Sometimes this is easy. For example if a women gets acne breakouts at the same time every month during her menstrual cycle, the acne is most likely hormonal. In these cases oral contraceptives (birth control pills) often help regulate the acne. There are many type of oral contraceptives and not everyone is for each person so you may have to try a few different ones before it actually works for you. Leading a healthy lifestyle will decrease a person's stress and this can work wonders for acne. Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly will decrease the body's stress levels. But at other times, certain causes of acne cannot be controlled. Therefore many alternative solutions are available. These can be topical products applied to the skin, medications taken by mouth, or various forms of treatment.
Topical Acne Products
Most of the time the first line treatment for acne is by using topical products because they are generally easy to use and often times control the acne without further intervention. Cleansers are used to keep the skin clean and prevent anything from clogging pores. Other products include exfoliants such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These remove dead skin cells which clog pores. Some products contain antibiotics such as clindamycin or benzoyl peroxide, which kill bacteria and are good for redness and swelling associated with acne. Vitamin A derivatives such as retinol and retin-A are highly effective because they stimulate skin cell turnover, which prevents clogging of pores. It can take a few months before such products kick in completely.
Oral Acne Medications
When topical products are not effective often times oral medications are used to treat acne. The most common ones are antibiotics such as doxycycline, although there are many others. These antibiotics work well for redness and swelling because they target the bacteria which cause these reactions. For acne that is resistant to other treatments Accutane is used. Accutane was originally a chemotherapy used for cancer treatment but is also used for acne. It is an oral form of retin-A and has many side effects such as dryness of the skin and mouth. It also has a risk for birth defects so it is important for women taking Accutane to use effective contraception. Accutane has also been associated with depression in many people. For these reasons Accutane is generally reserved for those who have failed other treatments. Also, some people require multiple rounds of Accutane for complete control of acne.
There are many different types of treatments for acne, some of which can be done at home and others which are done by professionals. Gentle peels and masks are readily available and can be used at home. Many estheticians use stronger peels and treatments such as microdermabrasion or hydrafacials. These are designed to remove a thin layer of the skin to unclog the pores. Higher strength peels such as the Red Carpet Peel are performed at medical offices by doctors or nurses and can provide better results although recovery time can be increased. There are also various laser treatments that can be used to target the bacteria or remove dead skin from the surface. Many people benefit from such treatments.
Although acne is very common and it may be frustrating due to the appearance on the skin and the time it takes to clear it, it is important to be positive and continue with your therapy, whatever it may be. Sometimes it takes months or even years to control it completely, but stay the course and follow your provider's recommendations to get the results you want. Contact us for a free consultation with Dr. Alex.